The job market is changing constantly – the last few years have been pretty much proof positive of that. Not only are the conditions changing, but the needs of employers in many industries are radically different today than they were in the recent past.
Because of this, the types of bachelor’s degrees offered by colleges and universities around the country are evolving as well. Colleges and universities are growing increasingly responsive to the needs of both their students and prospective employers and as a result, there is an ever-broadening spectrum of potential majors for undergraduate students. Here are just a handful of the options available for today’s students that weren’t even considered by students just a few short years ago.
Video Game Design Bachelor’s Degrees
According to US News and World Report, the video game industry was worth $ 55.5 billion in 2010, and is expected to grow to $82 billion by 2015. Students who choose to major in video game design learn a range of skills, from the broad to the very specific. Being familiar with computer science and programming can make these students candidates for a range of IT jobs, while their training in graphic design, human/computer interaction, and game production make them especially suited to this rapidly-exploding industry.
Health Informatics Bachelor’s Degrees
As the country’s healthcare system grows increasingly reliant on computers for tracking patient records and medical data, it needs graduates with the skills and knowledge to help manage that system. Health informatics exists at the intersection between computer science, healthcare, and information technology and will be a growing field, the New York Times reports. There is little dispute that an increased use of electronic systems for managing records will increase efficiency and lower costs – suggesting that more graduates from health informatics programs will be needed sooner rather than later.
Bachelor’s Degrees in New Media
More and more communications and journalism programs are offering “new media” programs to their students. Encompassing traditional communications and journalism models, these programs seek to ground students in existing practices while preparing them for increasingly powerful digital paradigms like social media, web-based publishing, blogging, and much more.
Public Health Bachelor’s Degrees
As the healthcare industry grows ever more complex (and ever larger), the need for graduates with administrative and procedural knowledge in the medical field is increasing rapidly. Degrees in public health focus more on administrative issues of healthcare than hands-on practice. Programs prepare students for careers in government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and healthcare corporations.
Environmental Studies and Sustainability Bachelor’s Degrees
The “green” movement is picking up speed, and it’s becoming more important for businesses and government to pay attention to their environmental practices moving forward. Environmental studies, sustainability, and conservation programs are not new programs, but they’ve adapted to meet the needs of a corporate culture that needs workers who can understand both the environmental and the financial bottom line.
The five programs listed above are far from the only degree programs and majors that have recently emerged as increasingly important to the economy. Fields like nanotechnology, biomedical engineering, and cyber and network security are just a few others that have grown both in importance and prevalence in America’s colleges. Keep your eyes peeled for non-traditional degree programs when you’re getting ready to think about college: there’s a lot more out there than you might realize.